Sean Blanton: Slowly Building

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Training Tips: Slowly Building

By Sean Run Bum Blanton

So many people run too far, too fast, too quick. This can lead to limited result, frustration and injury.  While I don't think there is a "magic" number to this, consider the following when trying to build endurance and fitness:

- Listen to your body more than anything. Too many people don't allow their bodies time to recover. It is important to know the difference between soreness and injury.

- Use the law of 10%. Never increase your mileage by more than 10% from week to week.  I like the 4-week block plan. 3 weeks of progressively getting harder and longer and then 1 all out recovery week. Sometimes you may be able to go out for 3 hard workouts in a row and then find you need a break or you could go for 4 weeks straight and not need to rest.  Again, listen to what your body is telling you.

- The key to taking a recovery week is to have other sports or hobbies you do. It makes it easier. For me it’s soccer, skydiving and eating. Idle feet are the devil's playground.

- Nobody goes and runs a marathon their 2nd day of running.  It can take months and maybe years to build up to that so be PATIENT. Remember 2 steps forward and 4 steps back is not the way to go.

Running for fun and exploring

- If you are a numbers/pace/mile counter/GPS person then plan 1 or 2 runs a week where everything is just unstructured. Ditch the watch, the phone, all of the gadgets and just go run.

- Run somewhere you've never run before. Time to hit the trail you've been thinking about for the past couple of months.

- To keep it fun step out the door and decide right or left. Then just follow one direction until you come to an intersection and then do the same thing.  I find I get to explore and it keeps things interesting. I do the same thing on the trail (now please be careful when doing this as it can bit a bit more dangerous). I might see an old forest service road and just follow it to see where it goes. I was on the Benton McKaye the other day and followed whatappeared to be an old logging road. I followed this and was lead up to the top of a peak I began to see old BMT trail markings and followed this until it led back into the trail some 1/2 mile up. It was a lot of fun as that section had been re routed and I am sure no one had been on it for years. If you take this exploratory outlook on running then it will always be an adventure. When it's an adventure it's not work: It's play.

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